On the 25th May the Aikikai Foundation held the 57th All Japan Aikido demonstration at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan. The UKA was fortunate enough this year to have a spot on the demonstrations, 90 seconds where we could represent British Aikido within the UKA.
9 members of members of Ren Shin Kan Dudley were present on the mat many travelling as a group with others meeting in Tokyo.
On the day the atmosphere was good, we gathered for registration around midday and filtered into the Budokan to watch the demonstrations preceding our own. As our time slot grew close it would be time to vacate the stands and change in preparation.
We assembled into our line and waited by the doorway where we were then led in to a waiting spot just before the mat we were to be using. Walking out into the arena it is easy for forget that thousands of people are sat in the upper tiers watching but we remain calm and stay focused.
Like clockwork the gong sounds and the demo preceding ours finishes and we advance at a moderate pace to the mat. the organisation of the event moves with clockwork like precision to fit so many participants into the day.
We bow first to the kamiza at the head of the arena then to each other and it begins. The first 20 seconds see our high level Shihan, Gordan Jones (7th Dan Shihan, UKA Technical Director) and Philip Smith (7th Dan Shihan, Ren Shin Kan Principal) demonstrating their technical ability before the rest of the group find our respective partners and show the diversity and ability that the UKA has to offer. For many people the 70 seconds they were up there would be the longest 70 seconds ever experienced and something that will not be forgotten anytime soon. The gong sounds to signify the end of our slot, we stop immediately moving back to our starting positions either side of the mat and repeating the bows as we did at the start. We then exit the mat across the top as the group did before us doing both our organisation and our respective dojos proud.
Special thanks go out the following members that travelled the distance to represent the UKA at this special event.
Gordon Jones (7th Dan, Shihan)
Philip Smith (7th Dan, Shihan)
Alan Smith (6th Dan, Shidoin)
Guy Needler (6th Dan, Shidoin)
Neil Mould (5th Dan, Shidoin)
Martin Penrose (5th Dan, Shidoin)
Zach Fairbanks (4th Dan)
Kevin Webb (2nd Dan)
Michael Smith (1st Dan)
Ben Grant (1st Dan)
Mark Perrins (1st Dan)
And of course the family members who travelled along providing support.
Lots more photos from the event including activities undertaken in the days either side of the demo can be found on Facebook where you can feel free to browse, comment and let us know if this is something you’d like to participate in should the opportunity ever arise.
EDITED 03/06/2019 14:01